So if you missed all gazillion of my facebook reminders, the email newsletter and the actual invitations, you might not know…
I HAD A GRAND OPENING LAST WEEKEND!
We moved into the new photography studio back in May but the project took a back seat most of the summer (during our move, our kids being out of school and work as usual) so even though I had been meeting clients there I was frequently apologizing for the “we’re-not-finished-in-here-yet” studio. Finally, with the Grand Opening event approaching everything had to get done. Well at least almost everything! I am seriously limited in my decorating skills so I depended heavily on the help of my incredibly talented friends, an amazing handy man and of course my family. Dana and my father law hung the lights and Dana set up the projector, internet radio etc. My mom cleaned (like crazy) and my dad took the trash out (not just any trash my friends, I’m talking high-as-the-ceiling-trash and many trips up and down the stairs with it.) My friends were there for me from planning the interior, painting furniture -and the sign, hanging work, recovering the bench, trips to Ikea, even labeling my mailbox downstairs. I have never been in a situation before where I relied so heavily on other people and I am so grateful for them! I was on a limited budget too! I found awesome pieces at thrift stores (thanks to my thrift-store-spy Becky), craigslist (duh, of course) and Noel even brought me the cute little retro desk she found in someone’s trash!
So, even though I’ve been in business here for over four years, this Grand Opening was symbolic of more than just a new photography studio. The completion of the photography studio has coincided with the completion of several business projects from the rebranding (my new logo,) to the new site, to the new services AGP now offers. It was back in the beginning of this year when I knew I needed to make some changes, to bring AGP to the next level and achieve some sanity too. When I started the business I didn’t realize I might need some business knowledge in addition to my photography skills (go figure.) So even though I had a general idea of the next steps, I wanted a seasoned business professional to give me advice, keep me on track and see it through with me. That’s when I found Mitche Graf who has been absolutely amazing. He is a photographer as well, but beyond that, he is a true entrepreneur, someone who has owned and operated several businesses of different types. He is successful but also places a high value on time off – with his family. I appreciate his vantage point so much for all those reasons. He has gone above and beyond with me and has been exactly what AGP needed.
The photography studio (1540 Highland Ave. Melbourne, Florida) provides a place for you all to come and see the stuff you can do with your pictures! It provides a place I can sit down and look at your images with you (via projection, thus the big blank wall) and help you plan your order! That is a whole blog entry by itself but let me just say that after four years of seeing how overwhelming the online galleries were for you, and enough people asking to meet with me for help, I figured out something needed to change! Okay more of that another time, there is also an office space, a shooting space (for the new mini sessions) and a storage and packaging space! I’ll be offering classes in the photography studio early next year as well! It is located in the heart of the Eau Gallie Arts District of Brevard County which is a growing area, with lots of awesome plans in the works- like streetscaping (cool brick roads and street lamps). They have “first Fridays” too where you can come out, bring your family and enjoy all kinds of artwork and activities! Oh and there is a farmers market there too, on Saturday mornings. If you’re a bride you can walk from my studio to the Eau Gallie Florist to Mathers Cake Shop, plus have lunch and stop into a salon in between!
I’ll post below pictures of the studio, room by room and then pics my brother was kind enough to snap during the Grand Opening Event. I think the only thing missing here is my coffee table (which we moved out for the event)… and I plan to hang work on the projection wall eventually, then hang a screen I can pull down.
As a member of the Melbourne Chamber of Commerce, I was lucky to have fellow members there to provide a real life ribbon cutting ceremony!
my awesome sign.
awesome building (dated to the beginning of the 1900s!)
the upstairs hall
main room, projection wall on the right, minus coffee table, the light is my fave, Zeke created and hung the ledges on the left
Some of my family favorites on this wall, on wrapped canvas, in black and white. Love the moments!
packaging, storage, wine, props, etc…
i love flowers, but i hate how they die and then you have to get more! and no, I can’t grow them either.
a few of my kiss albums here, oh and i love milk glass. i have a thing for antiques, it’s a little nerdy.
Becky found this table at a thrift store back when we moved into the first office space. I LOVE it.
I found this lamp at a thrift store and adopted it. It was originally an oil lamp, so I had to clean it up, put the actual lamp hardware on there and a new shade. voila, awesome lamp. I don’t have time for many projects, but small ones like that are so fun and satisfying!
This is actually on loan, and I probably should have returned it by now…
My awesome red desk Noel found in the trash. She says it is perfect for a shorty like me.
Noel also made this tag, I was expecting a tag, kind of like the things you put on Christmas presents – but what was I thinking? When you ask an artist for something, there will be layers and various mediums.
This is the shooting space so it stays pretty empty. That red (previously a radiator table) is one of my favorites too.
Thrift. Spray Paint. Done. Becky called me from the store to tell me about it.
This is a view from the first to the third room, then the packaging room is off to the right in the back.
Okay so these are a little out of order…
Welcome table for grand opening event…
my favorite light fixture again…
there we are, do i look calm and collected? I’m not, I’m about to have to say something.
Oh geez, now I’m actually saying something.
my dad is great. i have too many chins, should have liquified.
My husband is slightly crazy. And they gave the scissors to him! They said they are “heavy”. Seriously? I could hold three pairs of those things while doing jumping jacks. maybe. But I let him do it. He’s been putting up with all my stress, he deserves it.
I heart Noel. And Joyce – WHO JUST GOT MARRIED! Seriously. Today. You’ll see that on the blog soon enough. She’s going to hate this picture. But wait until you see her in the pics I took today. SMOKIN.
These are blurry… but at least you can’t see my wrinkles that way. Devon, was it getting too late for you? There’s my pal Gina, she is fabulous; I’m trying not to say awesome again and I love semi-colons.
The Big Winners! How perfect is that?
I don’t remember being that bubbly. I think it might be because I was done with the talking part. Or maybe it was the wine.
definitely the wine.
There’s Devon and John. They are pretty cool. I’m not even going to go into their escapades later that night.
I heart Wendi and Erika! BFF’s for 20 years! Whoa. That was more than I expected. Let’s just stop counting.
It’s for the best.
I want to give you four references. First of all, my sign was painted by Valerie. Let me know if you want her information. My event was catered by As You Wish -info available. My studio required some work that only the AMAZING Zeke Twardzik could provide. He is not only a highly skilled carpenter, this man could build your house from the ground up. He is the total package and is also a very easy person to work with – always smiling! He specializes in custom cabinetry and remodels. Zekreations can be reached at: 321.446.9865. Last but not least, I’ve been working with a designer to put together all my new printed materials. Everything from business cards, to pricing, to promo pieces. I cannot even count how many things she has designed and the best part is that every time she sends me a “rough draft” I am like, holy cow that’s perfect! Kristi Webb is amazing and is part of the design team I mentioned when I announced my partnership with “Three Little Birds.” I might share her information with you, but then again, I might just keep her all to myself!
That was long, but hey, it only happens once! You won’t be hearing from me here this week, I am a woman with a pile of orders and a mission. My clients have been so patient with me during this crazy time! Thank you!